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Propositions and Principles of Divinity - by Dr. Theodore Beza (1519-1605)

T.U.L.I.P. - The Doctrines of Grace

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Theodore Beza: Propositions and Principles of Divinity, &c. Published 1591. Chapters 1-11

VERITAS- PROPOSITIONS AND PRINCIPLES of Divinity, propounded and disputed in the university of Geneva, by certain students of Divinity there, under Mr. Theodore Beza and Mr. Anthony Faius, professors of Divinity. Wherein is contained a methodical summary or epitome of the common places of divinity.

TRANSLATED OUT OF Latin into English, to the end that the causes, both of the present dangers of that Church, and also of the troubles of those that are hardly delath with elsewhere, may appear in the English tongue.

Printed by Robert Waldegraue, printer to the King’s Majesty.
Anno Dom. 1592.
Cum Priuilegio Regali.


1. Seeing that the whole sum of all wisdom and felicity doth consist in the true knowledge of God: it is most meet that all our endeavors should be spent, in seeking to attain unto that knowledge, as far as we may be capable of it.
2. Not that a full & a perfect knowledge of his Majesty, who is far greater, than the capacity of men, and Angels can reach unto, may be any ways comprehended within our understanding: but that we should bend all the powers of our souls and bodies, to know that one God, who is the author and giver, both of soul and body.

3. And although human reason, be able to afford us some proofs, whereby we may be taught, that there is a God, and but only one: and whereby also his attributes, may be in some sort, made known unto us. Yet notwithstanding, those proofs are most sure and strong, yea, and altogether the most undoubted, which for this purpose are fetched and drawn out of God’s word: that is, out of the sacred writings {2} of the holy Prophets and Apostles, contained in the old and new Testament.

4. For howbeit, that the knowledge of God, which is derived from the consideration of his works and power, hath many notable uses: yet is it nothing comparable, with that light, which is gotten from the holy Scriptures; both because this knowledge revealed by the word, doth wholly flow and proceed from God himself: and also, in asmuch as, God in this his written word, hath manifested, how, and after what manner, he will be known, and worshipped of men.

Now, whether there be a God or no, we are to be so far from making any question thereof, that we are bound most firmly, with all our hearts, without all wavering and doubting, to believe that point.

And therefore we avouch, that the raving madness of all Atheists, who make a question, whether there be a God or no, ought not so much to be confuted by words and reason, as it ought to be clean rooted out of the society of men by the Magistrate, and the stiff maintainers of it, taken from amongst men.

For though all men by nature, as it is now corrupt, be void of the true God: nevertheless, there are certain motions and sparks of the knowledge of God, imprinted in the mind of every man, which cannot altogether be put out: And as these motions do testify, that man was born to worship God: So unless, a more full light be joined unto them, they leave man straying and groping in the dark, and are smally or nothing behoofull unto him.

Therefore, as the knowledge, which man hath by nature, is not altogether of no use unto salvation: so it is very far, from being of itself, sufficient thereunto: It bereaveth them indeed of all excuse, who quench that small light of nature, though never so corrupt, which is left in them.

5. True it is indeed, that he who goeth beyond all bounds, can in no wise be defined, and that that exceeding brightness of God, which no man can attain unto, cannot be comprehended by our darkness, yet he may be, as it were, shadowed out by this description, and so we may say, that God is he {3} who hath his being in himself, whose nature is of himself, invisible without beginning, without ending, infinite, incomprehensible, indivisible, unchangeable, no bodily substance, but a being most pure, most simple, and every way most perfect, wise, mighty, good, just, merciful, free, who hath created all things of nothing, &c.

And therefore, we do detest the multitude of Gods, acknowledged, among the Gentiles, the grossness of the Anthropomorphites,1 the fury of the Manichæis, and all such like. And here it is to be observed, that those things which are attributed unto God, by the former Epithets and attributes, are not to be taken, as qualities inherent in him: for we are to know, that there is nothing in God, which is not God himself.

6. As where it is said, that God is just, good, merciful, &c. That is so to be understood, as if he were said to be justice, goodness, and mercy itself.

And therefore, although that when we speak of God, we must not conceive of him, as having any likeness or affinity with the nature of man, or of any creature: yet such is the excellency of the Lord, and man’s weakness, that when we speak of his Majesty, we are enforced to use borrowed speeches from creatures. And herein he is so far from disliking of us, that he himself, descending, as it were, into our capacity, doth every where thus speak of himself.

Defended by SAMVEL AVIENVS of Berne.



1. That knowledge of God, which we attain unto, by his written word, doth far surpass all that, whatsoever it be, whereunto the light of nature, doth or can lead us.

2. For, that God is one in substance, and three in persons, is nowhere else to be learned, save only out of the word. The truth of which Doctrine, it setteth down most clearly and undoubtedly, but so as it leaveth the reason thereof, as a {4} matter altogether unsearchable, and a mystery, not to be sought out by human arguments, but to be reverenced and embraced by faith only.

3. These words, Trinity, Essence, or Substance, Person, and Coessential, though they be not in express syllables (the word Person [Heb. 1.3.] only excepted) to be found in the Canonical Scriptures; yet notwithstanding, they were not without just causes, brought into use, by the godly ancient Fathers; neither are they to be rejected, as adding anything unto the word, but rather, to be still profitable, and wholesomely retained in the Church.

4. By the word TRINITY, we understand the number of the persons, contained in the divine essence, which is one only.

5. By the word essence, in this doctrine is meant, that which indeed is one, and of all things most singular or single, wherein the several persons, being every one of them, the whole & the same essence, do subsist, being distinguished in their peculiar properties. These persons are, the Father, the Son, and the holy Ghost.

6. The Persons in the Deity, are the whole and the very same substance of the Deity, distinguished the one from the other, by their peculiar or respective incommunicable properties.

7. The properties whereby the persons are distinguished, are the divers manner of being, that they have in the Deity, whereby the substance of the Godhead, is no wise divided asunder, nor the persons of the same essence separated, but yet so distinguished, as the one of them cannot possibly be the other.

8. The divine Essence, the Deity or Godhead, & God, are essentially the one and the same.

9. These persons are said to be omoousioi or coessential, not because, they are only of like essence and substance, as we see the particulars of the same kind to be: but inasmuch as they are indeed, the one and the selfsame simple essence: of which sort, nothing that is created can be.

And therefore, the persons of the Deity, cannot without blasphemy, be said to be only coherent together in substance, {5} or only of like substance.

10. Amongst these persons, distinguished indeed, by their respective properties, although there be an order; yet is there not any degree, whence either any inferiority, inequality, or confusion may arise.

Therefore we conclude, that there are indeed, three persons in number, yet but one Godhead, and one GOD in regard of substance.

11. The property of the person of the father, is to be unbegotten, and to beget; The property of the son, is to be begotten of the father; the property of the holy ghost, is to proceed, from the father and the son.

Wherefore in conclusion, we do from our hearts detest, all the blasphemies, that both old and new heretics have maintained, contrary unto this doctrine.

Defended by IOHN CHEROPONTIVS of Neocome.



SEEING, WE HAVE DEALT CONCERNING God, one in substance, and three in persons, it followeth nowe, that we speake in order, of euery one of the persons.

1. THE word GOD, is sometimes taken particularly for the person of the Father, because that the persons of the Son, and of the holy Ghost, are referred unto the father as it were, unto a certain original of their being, whereas the father receiveth his being of none, but doth communicate it both with himself, and also with the other two persons.

2. God the Father, was always God, and always the Father, and therefore it fell not as a property unto him, that being merely God at the first, he should be afterward made God the Father: but as he is God from all eternity, so he is the Father from all eternity.

3. God the Father after an unspeakable manner of generation {6} begat his only Son, by communicating his whole essence with him, the which manner of begetting, is shadowed out by a kind of similitude, where the son is in the holy scripture, named the Wisdom, the Power, the Image [Col. 1.15], the brightness, and the engraven form of his person. [Heb. 1.3.]

4. And after this sort we are to conceive, (but not curiously to scan) the similitudes, of the fountain & the stream that issueth from it: of the Sun and Sunbeams of the light, that proceedeth from light, of the water & the vapors that arise out of it, of the tree and the branches, of the mind and the speech, that is inwardly conceived, of the seed and the bud, and to be brief, of all such similitudes, as the Fathers have brought, to manifest in some measure, though not perfectly to lay open this mystery: Which they accounted a matter to be reverenced & adored, & not curiously and profanely to be sifted and waded into.

5. And although this divine manner of begetting, doth neither cut into parts, nor multiply the essence of the Deity, which Deity, is not a thing that only may be conceived in thought, having no other being or existence, as are the general kinds and sorts of things created, but is indeed a most single, and a most pure infinite self-being: yet doth it multiply the persons, but so, as it doth in no wise sever the one of them from the other.

6. The Father therefore is another person in number than the Son, and in like sort, the Son is another person, than the Father: and yet is the Deity neither divided, nor multiplied, when the Son is said to be God of God. And even as in substance he is the one and the selfsame with the Father, so is he in his person so distinguished from the Father, that he is, and remaineth in him still.

7. The Father and the Son then, are enupostatoi, that is, the one of them in the other, or neither of them severed from the other by any distance of place: Yet is the Son more properly said to be in the father, than the father in the son, by reason of the dignity as it were, of the Fatherhood.

Hence also it is, that the Son personally distinguished from the Father, is in many places of the Scripture called God. {7}

8. Out of these things it appeareth, what we are to believe concerning the person of the Son: to wit, that in regard of his substance absolutely considered, he is that one only true God, unto whom do agree whatsoever may be attributed to divine substance considered in itself, but in regard of the manner of his being, that is, in respect that he is the Son, or as far as he is personally considered, then we are to believe, that he is not of himself, but of the Father, yet coeternal and coessential with the Father.

9. We do condemn therefore the Tritheits, by whom, not only the persons (which also we grant) are numbered, but even the substance of the Godhead, (wherein also they place an inequality) multiplied.

In like sort we condemn the SABELLIANS, who holding a contrary errour, do not so much as number the persons, and instead of the royal notions, whereby the persons are distinguished the one from the other, do bring in only a certain difference of their effects and names.

We do also condemn the ARRIANS, who rob the Son, of his essential Godhead.

And the EUNOMIANS, who have forged the inequality of the persons.

Together with the followers of SAMOSATENUS, and SERVETUS: and all other fanatical spirits, who affirm the person of the Son, to have taken his beginning with his human nature, because (as they hold) before that time, either the Word was not the Son, or was nothing else but a shape or a form conceived in God’s mind, of the human nature that should afterward be born, or was only predestinate and appointed to be, (but not being indeed) from all eternity, or else because they will have the flesh of Christ to be taken out of the substance of the Godhead, or (as some do now affirm) because all the properties of the Deity, were poured into the human nature, when the word was incarnate: or to be brief, by what other dotage soever they go about to obscure the coeternal generation of the Son.

Defended by IOHN HENRY SCHINTYER of Tigurine. {8}



of the Father, and the Sonne: it followeth now, that we speake of the holie Spirit.

1. VVHEREAS the word SPIRIT, is diversely taken in the scriptures, we in this doctrine, do understand by the holy spirit, the third person in Trinity.

2. The holy Spirit is that Essential, and working power, who is essentially subsisting in the Father, and the Son, from whom (the whole Deity wherein also they do subsist, being communicated unto him after an unspeakable manner) though he proceedeth, or (if we may so speak) is as it were breathed, yet is he not at all separated in respect of this his proceeding, but is in regard of the manner of his being, distinguished from the persons of the Father, and the Son.

And therefore he is not without cause reckoned, the third person in number, seeing in consideration of his being, he is referred unto the Father, and the son, yet not as unto two beginnings, but as unto one.

3. The Deity thus communicated, by issuing and proceeding, is not multiplied in substance, seeing he is most simple and single: Whence it is that the holy Ghost in regard of his person, is, and ever hath been coessential, and coeternal with the Father, and the son, and in regard of his substance, is that one only true God in himself: Whereupon also, the name of God, is sometimes personally attributed unto him.

The holy Ghost is therefore to be worshipped, by the one and the same faith and invocation, that the Father and Son are.

4. And although the works of the Trinity, which they call outward, or external, are unseparable, yet in the effecting of them, we are to observe a distinction, not only of the persons, but also of the personal actions.

5. The proper, and the peculiar action of the holy Spirit, {9} in all the works of the Deity, be they natural and ordinary, or else extraordinary; was and is to effect in his time and manner, those things which the father from all eternity hath decreed in his own wisdom, that is, in his Son, and the Son hath ordered and disposed to come to pass.

6. Yet is not the holy spirit any instrumental cause, affording his help as a servant unto the Father or the Son, but working together with them, without any inferiority or inequality.

7. But the power and working of the holy spirit, is especially seen, in the planting and governing of the Church: In which particular respect, he is called the holy spirit: even because, that he who is most holy, doth stir up and nourish, all the holy motions that are in the elect. For he it is, by whose inspiration, all the holy prophets have spoken; it is he, that giveth ears to hear, and a heart to believe, who appointeth Pastors, and doth enable them with necessary gifts, who stirreth up the slothful, and being the true comforter indeed, doth comfort the afflicted soul: By whom those that are born again of him, do cry Abba father, he also formed the flesh of Christ in the womb of the virgin, and did most abundantly anoint his human nature: to conclude, it is he by whose strength we stand until we overcome.

Wherefore, we do abhor and renounce the SABELLIANS who confound the persons with the substance of the Godhead, the ARRIANS and the MACEDONIANS, who deny the holy Ghost to be coessential with the Father and the Son; the GRECIANS of later time, who affirm that he doth only proceed from the father; and those also, who by the holy Ghost, will have nothing else to be meant, save certain motions and inspirations only; together with those, who deny that he is to be invocated, by the one and the selfsame faith with the Father and the Son: and to be brief; we detest all those, that any ways oppugn the Deity of the holy Ghost, either in his substance or person.

Defended by IOHN JAMES COLER of Tygurine. {10}



both as far as wee are able to attaine unto, bee the light of nature, & also, as he is laied before us in the holy Scripturs, to be three in person, and one in substance: now it followeth, that we intreat of his attributes, wherby in a sort, we are taught, what maner of God he is.

1. ALTHOUGH there be no composition in God, nor yet any accidental quality, seeing he is a substance most single and every way one, yet to the end that according unto our capacity we might understand what a God he is, he himself in the scriptures is accustomed to attribute unto himself many things, as qualities.

2. By attributes in this place then, we understand the essential properties of the Deity, which are attributed unto him in the scriptures.

3. These things are so attributed unto him, that notwithstanding they place nothing in him that is compound, or divers from his substance, but look whatsoever they point him out to be, the very same he is in his own most simple substance.

4. For, both these properties, and also their actions do in very deed, differ no wit from the substance of the Godhead: but only in some consideration we are to hold them divers both from the divine substance, and also the one from the other.

5. Now these things are attributed unto the Deity, sometimes substantively, & sometimes adjectively as they speak, that we may thereby know him to be a being that subsisteth indeed, and that he is such a one, not by participation and imperfectly, but of himself, and that most perfectly.

6. Of attributes we make two kinds: the one is, of them which are so proper unto the Deity, that they can be in no {11} sort communicated unto creatures, neither have they any other respect unto creatures, save that by them, the Deity is distinguished from creatures; of this kind are, eternity, simpleness, unmeasurableness, omnipotency.

7. The other kind is of those, who although simply, and as far as they are in the Deity, they cannot be communicated; yet creatures may be partakers of them, not properly, but by analogy, and a kind of agreement, and that not essentially, but in regard of quality, and but in part neither: such are wisdom, goodness, and the rest of that kind.

Therefore OSIANDER erred grossly, who taught that the essential righteousness of God, was communicated unto us, and at this day their error is intolerable, who recalling back again the blasphemy of EUTYCHES, hold that all the proprieties of the Deity, were poured by personal union, into the flesh, which the Son of God took upon him.

8. For whatsoever is not the divine essence, thereunto the essential attributes of the Deity cannot be communicated.

9. The actions furthermore, which we said to be also attributes of the Deity, we divide both into those which they call remaining, because they do so continue in the Deity that worketh, as they bring forth no work out of the doer, of which sort are providence and predestination: and also into those which may be termed passing, that is, those which leave some work out of the doer, or do infer a suffering unto something, as are creation and redemption.

10. As for the attributes, which have their names from the effects proceeding from God upon the creatures, though they seem to have had their beginning in time, as where God is called the Creator, redeemer, &c. yet we deny, that either they put any change in God, or do agree unto him by way of accident.

Defended by IOHN CASTOL of Geneua. {12}




have been dealt with: now some of them in speciall are to
be handled.

1. THE omnipotency of God, is that very immeasurable and infinite essence of God, which is communicable unto no creature; always doing, never suffering; and which cannot desist to be that which it is.

2. This being indeed but one, may yet in divers considerations, be said to be manifold.

3. For the omnipotency is one way considered, when we speak of it, as God doth always work in himself, & it is another way regarded, in respect that God worketh out of himself, and can work innumerable things, if it pleaseth him.

4. For we hold, that God is omnipotent, inasmuch as, besides that, he is able to do whatsoever he will; he can both will and do innumerable things, which he will never, either will or do.

We do therefore condemn them, who say, that God is for no other cause omnipotent, but inasmuch, as he can without exception, work whatsoever can be, either spoken or imagined. And we do dislike of them, who think, that God is in that respect only called omnipotent, because he can do only whatsoever he will: For his power is in itself infinite, whereas his will is as it were, bounded, within the very act of will.

5. Now we hold, that God cannot do any of these things, which either are repugnant unto his personal properties, (as that the Father cannot be begotten, neither the Son begotten) or are contrary unto his essence, as to be finite; or which imply a contradiction, of which sort, it is to make that a body shall be truly natural, and yet, neither to have quantity, nor to be contained in any place. Briefly we deny, {13} that God can do anything, which if they were done, might shew him to have defects and weakness in him, as to die, to lie, to sin, &c.

6. And as by faith, we believe according unto the Scriptures, and the Creeds appointed in the church, that God only is omnipotent, so we do profess and publish the same with our mouth.

7. For it is no less repugnant unto his nature, that there should be many omnipotents, than that there should be many Gods.

Whence it is, that Christian Religion, doth not acknowledge in God distinct into three persons, three omnipotents, but one omnipotent.

Now concerning the human nature of Christ, although it be united unto the divine, in the person of the Son, who is but one, yet as it is not therefore made God, so is it not properly made omnipotent: but it retained even it own infirmities, before it was glorified, wherein it might suffer and die for us, and now being glorified, although it be free from all infirmities and glorious; yet is it not in itself made omnipotent.

Defended by WILLIAM MOONES of Niuerse.



I. UNTO the treatise of God’s omnipotency, is to be joined the declaration of the knowledge that is in him, being a doctrine very necessary; to the end, that the true God may be severed from the false: and that from it we may take counsel and consolation.

II. Now, this science or knowledge is considered, both in itself simply, when the question is what, and of what sort it is: and also in respect of the things that it doth know.

III. By this knowledge, we mean an absolute, and a most clear knowledge in God, both of himself, and of all things created: whereby he doth not only know, all things to be: {14} but also the reason, why they are so. And this knowledge is different, from all the sight that men and Angels have: not by comparison, that it is greater, and theirs lesser: but altogether in the whole nature of it. The which difference we discern by these notes.

That this knowledge is essential, and even the understanding essence of God.
That it ariseth not from the outward senses, or from the notions that the understanding doth apprehend: by reasoning, by joining things together, and by dividing, or yet from the report of any other: no, not from the knowledge of principles, and causes that are of themselves formed in the understanding.
That it is neither any habit nor action, nor any thing different from that very thing that doth understand: that is, from the essence of God, seeing it is most simple.
That it understandeth all things at once.
That it is most certain.
That it is always the same.

IV. Now in respect of the things that it doth know; we affirm, that God doth know all things by himself, & of himself:
Himself, properly and most fully.
All things past, present, and to come; even those things that are casual.
Yea, and such things as neither are, nor ever shall be.
Even evil things.
Yea infinite.
And even all the motions of the will, and their issues.
And not only by a general knowledge of general things, but even by a most exact and perfect of every particular.
V. This knowledge, which in respect of things to come, is called prescience, or fore-knowledge; is not the cause of the existence of things: although there is nothing to come to pass, which God did not fore-know that it should come.
VI. This knowledge either in whole, or in part, can no creature be capable of.

Defended by IOHN FLORIBVS of Angieu. {15}



1. THE discourse concerning God’s will, which is most of all to be sought into for our salvation, followeth that which is concerning his knowledge.

2. By the word WILL, in God, we understand, both the divine essence, which doth embrace and delight in that chief and sovereign good which it hath in itself, and also in respect of the things that God will have done; we mean the very action of will.

3. And in this latter regard, it is also considered two manner of ways: either as it is a decree certain, and known only unto God, which we may call qelhma, or else as far, as he is made known unto men, either by commanding, or forbidding in the divine scriptures, and specially in his law, or otherwise by permitting, and working in the creatures.

4. For although the essence of God, and therefore also his will be most simple; yet we deny not the same to be manifold, both in respect of the things which, and of the manner how it willeth those things to be.

5. But look how that unchangeable decree of his, is such, as it cannot but be done, will we, nill we; even so, that will of his, which the Moral law doth lay open, is not always fulfilled: for the reprobate do purposely repugne the same, and the elect, by reason of the corruption of their nature, (which with grief they acknowledge) cannot fully obey it.

6. Further, seeing there is nothing either greater or higher than God, we account it unlawful, to seek any cause of his will, either out of him, or above him, and so we hold his goodness to be the cause of all things, that he will have done.

Whereupon we do justly condemn the old PELAGIANS, and the half PELAGIANS of our age, to wit, the Papists; who babble, that God was moved to decree what should {16} be the end of reasonable creatures, by the foreknowledge he had, either of their faith, or of their works.

7. Those things which God willeth concerning himself, he cannot but will them: but as for such things as he willeth concerning others; them he willeth freely: yet so, as some of them do necessarily come to pass and work: others, as it falleth out, of their own accord.

And seeing it is the cause of all things, we believe, that both good and evil, do come to pass at the appointment thereof, in such sort, as whereas God is most good; so his will is most upright, and the rule of all justice, so as it cannot command anything that is evil.

Now although in Christ, God and man, there be a double will; his divine will is yet so immutable, as it cannot will any new thing; but whatsoever it willeth, the same it willed from eternity; neither doth it repent him of anything he hath done, seeing he is God indeed, and from all eternity.

Defended by FRANCIS BYFIETIVS of Langres.



THE goodness of God, we call that essential property of his, whereby he is good in himself, and bountiful towards all his creatures.

2. God is so exceedingly good, that from him can proceed nothing but good.

Whence it is, that evil is directly repugnant unto his nature, much less, can he be thought to be the author of evil.

3. And although a proof of God’s goodness, be poured upon every creature, general and particular: yet he doth not in the same measure, communicate the same unto all of them.

4. Now, whereas this goodness turneth unto the destruction of the wicked, the fault is their own; and that because they do either not embrace the same, with a sure confidence, or else do contemptuously refuse it. {17}

5. The word Grace or Favor, which is taken in diverse senses, doth in this place signify the free favor of God, which is only particular unto the elect, which doth not only frame our will, being freed from corruption, to will & to do that which is good, but also doth continually uphold the same, which otherwise would fall to decay of itself, unless that supplying grace, did make the first grace to be of efficacy and force.

6. This grace is neither from nature, as the PELAGIANS did falsely judge, neither yet is it any habit infused in us: neither doth it become ours by any other means, than as far as we apprehend the same by true faith in Christ.

This ground being laid, we affirm, that grace and merits of work, can in no wise stand together.

7. The love that is in God, is no passion arising of some good that it apprehendeth, but it is the very simple essence of God, who is graciously affected towards his creatures, and blesseth them as he thinketh good.

8. But the cause of that love of his, is not in the creatures, as though they were such, as could allure God to love them, but it is rather in God, who of himself is good, and poureth goodness upon his creatures.

9. In like sort, God is called merciful; not because he is subject unto any perturbation, but inasmuch as he repelleth misery from those whom he loveth.

And although amongst men, mercy seemeth to be opposed unto judgment, as a thing that cannot stand with it, yet in God, these two do very well agree, seeing mercy is not contrary unto judgment; but justice being as it were subdued by mercy; doth in respect of us, seem to give place unto mercy.

Defended by DOMINICVS BAYDIVS a flemming.



I. GOD’S providence we make to be, that eternal way and manner, whereby God doth conserve, {18} govern and direct unto their certain ends, the things which he hath wonderfully created: So that the said providence uncessantly working, by a perpetual and immutable disposition and administration of all things, neither fainting, nor wearying, and being of itself immutable, doth move all things that have being.

II. For God doth so respect all creatures in general, as he doth provide for them all in special, even unto the meanest particular, which he careth for, cherisheth and governeth, everywhere laying before us in them, his wisdom, goodness, and power: So that all things, both in heaven and earth, are so brought to pass at his appointment, as he always doth apply his hand unto them, until that which he hath most wisely purposed, be most powerfully finished.

III. As he alone doth ordain all things; so he alone doth work all things; though not always without second causes, which he so useth; as he doth not idly impose upon them the burden of effecting, that which he hath once decreed, (as many things are done in the name of Kings and Princes, and said to be wrought at their commandment, which yet, because they are done by other officers, they scant [hardly] know, either how, or by what means they are brought to pass) but doth uncessantly, without any discontinuance, work & bring to pass, by a determinate appointment, & unto their right ends; all things even the least matters: doing justly, even when he useth most evil instruments; to be short, he continually worketh all in all things.

Wherefore, we do condemn all ungodly Epicures, who dream of a certain idle and dainty GOD, that neither regardeth his own, nor yet other men’s affairs: who also think, that all things are turned and rolled by the blind power of Fortune; and do account the eternal punishments of the wicked, and those blessed joys, after this miserable life, for no better, than toys and fables.

We detest those Sacrilegious men also, who make a subalternal or second providence, that is; do attribute unto the true God a general kind of providence, whereas they ascribe unto Saints or false Gods, a more special: whence it {19} came, that blind gentilism did feign certain lieutenant Gods.
Those also, who feign a linking together of causes, & that there is a fatal destiny of things.

Those that affirm heavenly affairs, to be governed by God; and earthly things to be disposed, by the virtue, influence, and constellations of the Stars.
Those, who make God’s providence, to be only a bare knowledge of things, for they divide between God & men, whereas they will have men and their affairs to be guided by the power, but not by the appointment of God.

IIII. Now, though nothing can be done, but by the decree of God, which can never be deceived; yet second causes do work according unto their own nature: & therefore, although the minds and the wills of all men, do bend themselves thither; wheresoever the Lord, as it were, the Ship-master doth move them; yet is it our own fault, that we do evil, and so the cause and the matter of our destruction is in our selves, so that the authors of wickedness, are unexcusable.
V. God’s providence therefore, being absent from nothing that is done, but uprightly governing, ruling, moving, and conveying, whereto it listeth, the judgments, wills, endeavours, enterprises, and actions of all men, both good and bad; and further sending upon us, by his most wise and just counsel, (though we often cannot see it) whatsoever befalleth us in this life, be they prosperity or adversity, can by no means be frustrated, of the effects which it hath purposed.

Defended by IOHN CORNELIVS, of Prouence in France.



NOW THAT WE HAVE SPOKEN OF GODS Prouidence: it followeth that we deale of Prædestination.

1. FIRST in general, Predestination is that eternal and immovable decree of GOD, whereby, as it pleased {20} his Majesty; he hath decreed all things, both universally and particularly; and also doth effect them by the causes created in like sort, & appointed by him, as he thought good to the laying open of his own glory.

2. Secondly, applying this decree in special unto mankind. We call Predestination, that eternal decree (such as we have already spoken of:) whereby, he hath immutably purposed from all eternity, by saving some in his great mercy, and by damning others in his most just severity, to manifest himself, what he is indeed by his effects; namely, that he is most merciful and most just.

3. Among those second causes, as far as they concern mankind; whom properly this discourse respecteth; we are to consider two, viz. the understanding, and the will, as the spring of the actions of men.

4. It behooved God, being in time to execute the purpose of this eternal Predestination, otherwise he should be the author of sin (which cannot be) to create man good; that is, such, as both the judgment of his understanding, could well and uprightly see into the things laid before him, and uprightly judge of them, and also the desire of his will should be just, and every way even.

5. It behoved also, that this man should be endued with a free and a voluntary power, to move himself, to the end, that this power should be forcible and a self-moving beginning of the actions of man.

6. It behooved this man also to have ability, if he would, to fall from this uprightness and goodness, that a way might be opened, both unto the mercy, and the justice of God.

7. It is so far then, that God bereaved our first Parents of the liberty of human will, & the voluntary inclination to be carried both ways, that on the other side he made no alteration in the same: Otherwise, as God was the Author; so he might be accounted the destroyer thereof.

8. For the eternal purpose of God, doth impose no other necessity upon the events, which he hath determined, than such as he will have second causes, to be moved according {21} unto their own nature: whence it followeth, that it doth not take away the contingency or voluntariness of man’s will, as shall be discussed more fully, God willing, in the discourse concerning the nature of man.

9. Those two therefore, who were the first of all mankind, although in regard of that which was to come to pass, they fell not without the unchangeable appointment of God; yet in respect of the cause inherent in them, and the proper beginning of their actions, they fell contingently, not by constraint, but willingly, and altogether by a voluntary inward motion; both in respect of the understanding, who blinded, and of the will who depraved itself.

10. Therefore, we do retain these Scholastical distinctions of necessity and compulsion, of natural and voluntary, of absolute and conditional, of enforced and ensuing necessity, as true and profitable.

11. This fall brought with it, that which was conveyed unto all men, as GOD had threatened; to wit, the bondage of darkness in the whole mind, & of rebellion against God, in the whole will of man.

12. And although, the liberty of making choice between good and evil; but not between evil and evil, be now altogether lost, yet there remain still, both in the understanding, and also in the will, though servants unto sin, certain voluntary motions.

13. Out of this bondage, God, who is bound unto no man, doth, when he thinketh good, call & enlighten those whom according unto his eternal fore-appointed election in Christ, it pleased him of his mere mercy, to choose, and having bestowed faith upon them, and regenerated them, he freely justifieth them in the same Christ; meaning one day to lay open, in them being glorified, the great glory of his great and unspeakable mercy.

14. We do condemn therefore all those, who appoint the foresight and foreknowledge, either of faith or works, as a preexistent or foregoing cause of election, which was fore-ordained from eternity: neither do we teach, that any man was elected; because he should either believe, or {22} do well; but contrariwise, that they therefore are endued with faith, who do believe; and that they labour to do well, who are careful of good works; because that God of his mere free goodness, did appoint them unto salvation; and therefore to have faith in Christ, and the true fruits of faith.

15. The certainty of this Election, is not to be fetched from that eternal decree, known only unto God; nor yet from a general calling, but from the gifts inherent in us, and the effects proper unto the elect; that is, from the good motions of the understanding and the will, we must fetch the gift of true regeneration, peculiar only unto the elect; and from Regeneration, we must gather that unrepentant gift of imputed righteousness: From hence again, by our effectual calling, we must arise to the full assurance of faith, and the testimony of the Spirit of adoption in us, and from thence last of all; we are by little and little, to climb higher & higher, unto the full assurance of our free eternal Predestination in Christ, which is joined with continual prayer, hearing of God’s word, and perseverance in well doing.

16. Now all those, whom it pleased the same GOD, who is debtor unto no man, in justice to leave in their own corruption; either altogether not called, or called; but without the opening of the heart, and worthily to deliver up unto Satan, and their own concupiscence; being such also, as wilfully and willingly harden themselves; will he one day, according unto his eternal Predestination, adjudge together with Satan unto eternal punishments, laying open in their just destruction, the glory of his great and most just hatred against evil.

17. The manifesting of this decree of Reprobation, is to be left unto God, unless it be apparent in any, that they have sinned against the holy Ghost, as in times past, it was with JULIAN the Apostate. The cause, why we are not to determine of Reprobation, from the effects of Satan and our corruption (that sin against the holy Ghost only excepted) as we are to gather our Election from the working of the holy Spirit in us, is this: Even because it hath {23} pleased our merciful God, to shew that some, yea, of the greatest sinners, at their very last gasp, were of the number of his elect, by bestowing forgiveness of sins upon them by his extraordinary favour, as it fell out with the thief that hung upon the Cross.

18. Those therefore, who hold on the ways of destruction, are so to be told of their duty, as leaving unto God the secrets of his judgments, we are not to despair of any man’s salvation. For it is a true consequence indeed to say; I believe, as it appeareth by the effects: therefore I am elected and appointed unto salvation: but it is no necessary consequent to say: I do not believe, and I tread the path of destruction, therefore I am a reprobate, and appointed to damnation. For he that believeth not today, may be endued with faith tomorrow. But thus rather we are to make a true conclusion. I do neither believe the Gospel, nor labour to believe, but continue in the way of destruction. Wherefore, except I betake me unto another course, I shall perish. And therefore I will enter unto another way, which God laith before me. And these are the cogitations, which all pastors are bound by duty with great care to lay before their wandering sheep.

19. God therefore in appointing some of free-gift unto salvation, and others unto just condemnation; is neither author of sin, nor respecter of persons: but thereby sheweth himself to be the true God indeed.

Defended by RAPHAEL EGLINE of Tigurine.

1. Heretics, so called because they held God, to have a body and members like a man.

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Reformed Theology at A Puritan's Mind